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Andrea Mitchell Reports

News/Business. Interviews with political figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.

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Us 13, America 6, John Boehner 4, Boehner 3, Manchin 3, Nancy Pelosi 3, Dianne Feinstein 3, Nra 3, Hallelujah 3, Connecticut 3, Philadelphia 3, Medicare 3, Mike Bloomberg 2, Inouye 2, Greg Melvin 2, Andrea Mitchell 2, Pelosi 2, Richard Engel 2, Clinton 2, Richard Bloomenthal 2,
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  MSNBC    Andrea Mitchell Reports    News/Business. Interviews with political  
   figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.  

    December 18, 2012
    10:00 - 11:00am PST  

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night and waited to hear that he and the team had crossed the border into tshgy. they had been blind fold and bound and only broke free after their candidate kidnappers came into contact with a rebel militia leading to a fierce firefight. here's richard engel describing the moments before their kidnapping on the "today" show this morning. >> we were driving in syria about five days ago in what we thought was a rebel-controlled area. we were with some of the rebels, and as we were moving down the road, a group of gunmen just literally jumped out of the trees and bushes on the side of the road. there were probably 15 gunmen. they were wearing ski machx. they were heavily armed. they dragged us out of the car. they had a container truck positioned waiting by the side of the road. they put us into that container truck. we were with some gunmen, some rebels who were escorting us. they executed one of them on the spot. then they took us to a series of
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safehouses and interrogation places. >> well, nbc news has no confirmation of the identity of those kidnappers. richard engel, of course, a veteran correspondent, says he has a good sense of who they were. >> this was a group known as the shabiha. this is a government militia. these are people who are loyal to president bashir al assad. they are shiite. they were talking openly about their loyalty to the government, openly expressing their shia faith. they are trained by iranian revolutionary guard. they are allied with hezbollah. we were told that they wanted to exchange us for four iranian agents and two lebanese people who are from the amma movement, and they want other members that have been captured by the rebels, they captured us in order to carry out this exchange. >> and as richard pointed out, other journalists are still being targeted and still being
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held in syria. in newtown, connecticut, the pain, the sadness still raw as sandy hook elementary school remains closed indefinitely for the ongoing investigation. students there will go back to classes tomorrow at a different school in the neighboring town of monroe, connecticut. today two more young victims, 6-year-old jessica rekos and 6 jerld james mattioli are being laid to rest. wakes will be held for first graders charlotte bacon and daniel gerrard barden and for a teacher that faced down the gunman. joining us now from newtown nbc's greg melvin. the sadness is unremitting. tell us about the mood there as they begin to bury these children. >> you know, one of the more touching moments here so far, andrea, today you mentioned gts james as the funeral procession
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was leaving town, presumably, from the church to the graveyard people stopped on the opposite side of the road and they got out of their cars, and some folks put their hands over their hearts. they put their hats over their hearts as well. that just gives you a sense of the kind of decisions you can see behind me the monument continues to grow here. there are monuments, makeshift memorials all over newtown, and they continue to grow. meanwhile, though, here's the latest on the investigation. at this point investigators had said that they had seized cell phones. they have seized computers and computer games. they are concerned at this point that the computer that was seized that some of the computer material that was seized may be too damaged. yesterday in a bit of a wink-wink nod-nod lieutenant vance said if such evidence existed that the computer crimes lab would be working day and night to try and get anything they could from those hard drives. also, it appears at this point as if much of the evidence
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involved -- it appears as if he was an avid video game player. the shooter, of course. the 20-year-old shooter. no evidence at this point has been discovered that would indicate that he was being treated -- that he was taking medicine at least for any treatment related to a medical condition or psychiatric condition at this point. investigators are saying they are using search warrants to try to figure out if the shooter was ever on any sort of medicine that might have explained how any of this could have happened. that's the very latest. >> greg melvin, and there is no explanation. joining me here to talk about the mass shooting in newtown and the chances of gun control legislation finally passing, democratic leader nancy pelosi. madam leader, thank you very much for joining us. the pain is horrendous. you spoke on the house floor last night. what is your reaction? you're a mother. you're a grandmother. this is so, so overwhelmingly sad because of the age of the
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children involved. >> well, because of the age of the children, of course, and the number of them and their teacher and their counselor and their principal, all of the above, and that the other children would be exposed to this as well. it would carry them in our hearts, which are very heavy. it's just almost unfathomable to capture what their grief is to their families, but we have to make sure do everything in our power and use that term not as a figure of speech, but as an actual fact. everything in our power to try to prevent it from happening again. >> the president has said he will use everything in his power. words matter, though, and we have seen that this was not discussed during the election campaign. no commitments were made. no promises were made. it just wasn't an issue. it seems as though we go from cycle to cycle, and there's immediate response and then it fades. how do we know this time momentum won't be permitted to fade? >> i think the fact that there
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have been so many events in close proximate you want time-wise to each other that this is almost a tipping point. little children, 20 little children, and the adults also that how do you explain to the children why something like this happens? how does something like this happen? it happens because somebody is mentally ill in this case, obviously, but how does it happen because a person with impaired judgment had access to firepower that should be outlawed? there's no reason why these assault magazines -- that's what they are. we have to call them what they are. assault magazines. you aren't even allowed have that on a hunting gun. in california you have three shots, and here in a kindergarten you can have endless shots. >> we thought after tucson, gabby giffords, your colleague, and the raw emotion there among all of you, her friends, what you experienced on the house
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floor when she came back, that should have been enough to push this forward. then after oak creek. let me just quote back to you after oak creek, wisconsin, what you said. the votes aren't there for gun control. we certainly aren't going to be able to do it in this congress, and i don't know that we would be able to do it in a democratic congress because it takes a lot of votes to go down that path. republicans are in control, but there are a lot of democrats also who come from states, red states, where these gun issues are absolutely binding. >> well, we have heard something quite different from? some of our members. we had a caucus this morning and i met some of the members who are members of the nra, or are supported by the nra came forth and said that hunters in their districts have said this isn't what hunters are about. we do need -- right away we could pass, right away today, this week, we could pass the ban on assault makigazinesmagazines.
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that means the attachment to a gun. it makes every gun that it's compatible with an assault weapon. in a larger sense, let's go down the path of banning the assault weapon. i think there's a better chance to do that now than ever. not that one child's life is more important than another person's life, but the volume, the impact of this, that every child can feel vulnerable. how do we say to children, sleep well at night, my dear. go to school in safety because you are protected. we don't really know that. >> mayor bloomberg, mike bloomberg, who has been such an advocate, was on "morning joe" today, and his frustration is also with the white house. there are things that could be done by executive action. let's watch. >> somebody said to me, well, it's a republican issue. let me tell you it's not a republican issue. if i remember my history, the first two years of the last obama administration congress and the senate and the white house were all in the hands of the democrats, and they did
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nothing, so spare me that it's only the democrats. >> perhaps the mayor is forgetting that you need 60 votes in the senate to get anything done, but be that as it may, his point is well taken. we all have a responsibility now to go forward to get something done, and it should be bipartisan, and i think it can be. whatever the president can do by executive or administrative direction, high pressure that he will do. i also think we all have a responsibility to tell the children that we did everything in our power to protect them, and i think this is different. for some reason it's different. children die all the time in ener cities and the rest. it's always tragic. somehow or other this has pushed it all over the top, and i think that people will not be satisfied until this is accomplished and i'm very encouraged by what i'm hearing from those that have not necessarily been leaders on the gun safety issue before. >> what one of the issues is
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perhaps the issue of privacy for those who return from the military and others whose medical records need to be shared. i mean, this has been discussed in the last couple of days. what about the cutbacks in money for mental health programs and for care? what about these parents who may have a child who is a loner, who is spending all his time, and mostly these are young men of a certain age, deeply engaged in video games, not engaged in the outside world. perhaps they've been noticed by teachers, but not followed up. then at home they're hidden. >> well, two points. first up, i'll start with the second point. when patrick kennedy was in the congress and when his dad was in the senate we passed in a bipartisan way the mental health parody act which for the first time treated members of the jury health just the way the other illnesses, and in the affordable care act we extended that in terms of the coverage, so we have made advances in that
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regard. certainly not enough, and as you've said, people have to be vigilant in their own circle and in their own family as to who needs help. and that's a very important part of it. the violence in our society is very important discussion. bobby scott, our senior democrat on that subcommittee in judiciary has been taking lead on this a long time. mike thompson, a veteran of the wounded there and hunter and all the rest has told us that as a veteran, as a hunter and as a person who represents a hunting district, he is saying his people are saying get rid of assault weapons. some of these folks can be our strongest advocates. in terms of the privacy of our returning vets, obviously that has to be respected, but the balance between security and freedom, privacy, and protection is something that we have to accomplish. >> if not now, when?
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>> yeah, when? it has -- actually, just to ban the magazine, the assault magazine, we could do it right now, and then take dianne feinstein's initiative and others to move to ban assault weapons and the rest. yes. then address mental health issues, violence in our society, in our inner cities, and beyond. >> important points all. we'll be right back. our exclusive conversation with nancy pelosi continuing next with those cliff talks, including her reaction to john boehner's plan b. this is andrea mitchell reports only on msnbc. [ woman ] ring. ring.
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this is a difficult time for americans. that's why we continue to have conversations with the white house.
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i continue to have hope that we can reach an agreement. it's not a time to put americans through more stress. >> the speaker today even though this latest tragedy -- even through the latest tragedy, there has been slow movement on negotiations between the speaker and the president. the speaker today saying that the latest offer isn't balanced. jay carney has just said that the president does support dianne feinstein's assault weapons ban, the rewritten ban that has expired. she was the original sponsor of that amendment back in 1994. speaking about the budget deals and all the negotiations back and forth, the president has put
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on the table a new plan that would raise the level of those exempted from $250,000 to $400,000. the speaker says that that is not good enough. the president has also put on the table several other items which includes changing the way the cost of living increase is calculated. the so-called chain cpi. already knocked down by a whole number of more progressive or liberal groups sending out emails just in the last couple of hours, so the cost of living adjustment, also the payroll tax cut extension is not in this offer. there will be a two-year debt ceiling increase, an extension to give them a two-year window on that, and the extension of unemployment benefits. what about this latest white house proposal because already we hear from a lot of democrats that it's a nonstarter. do you think you could sell it to your congress? >> i do. >> at a caucus meeting today with the white house. >> the president has demonstrated great leadership in what he put forth. he has responded to the need
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that we must have to inspire confidence as consumers with the markets that we need to prevent going over the cliff, that we need to eliminate any thought that we would be downgraded in terms of our credit rating. we need to reduce the deficit. we need to create jobs. speaker boehner's plan b does none of the above. plan b, i would call it plan befulgdzed. it's really hard to imagine why they even came up with it unless they just want to prove to their members that unless 218 of them were ready to raise rates, it's not going to pass. the democrats are not going to give them that success. you can be sure of that. it's a tactic, but it's not a serious proposal. the president has tried -- what the president has done is to say let's get something accomplished. not each of us will have it all our own way, but let's move
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towards an agreement. so that we can do the above. avoid the cliff, inspire confidence, avoid the downgrading of our credit rating and the rest, and reduce the deficit as we invest in jobs to grow our economy. the president really deserves a lot of credit for what he put forth and even though, even though criticized by some democrats, is not enough even though it moves toward a place of compromise with republicans. hopefully they'll come -- after they see what their plan -- how their plan will fail, will come to the table again. >> speaker boehner says you, many of the, suggested something similar to his plan b back in your alert of may 23rd where you did suggest that the tax cut apply to everyone below $1 million. >> yeah, well, i'm glad he is taking up some of my suggestions, and my next suggestion would be to put something on the table as we
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were suggesting them to smoke out the republicans. at what level would you raise the rates on the wealthiest people in our country? not would you raise them at $1 million? that was the point of that exercise. all as a part of a proposal that had deficit reduction with revenues coming in, with cuts being made, with investments in jobs, to grow the economy, to inject demand into the economy and to bring us to the deficit reduction we need. again, give confidence to the markets, to the consumers, avoid the cliff, and the rest. they take a piece of it in isolation, but they have proven one thing, and it's a victory for the president. they're willing to raise rates. now, are 218 republicans, that's what it takes to pass a bill, in the house or 218 republicans, are they ready to raise rates? we'll find out soon. >> can you deliver enough democrats? obviously boehner is not going to come up with a majority of his caucus, but are you willing -- well, if the deal
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is -- if the deal does involve some member of what the president is proposing on cuts in health care and this cpi change in the way of cost of living increases, and the rates are somewhere between what john boehner is suggesting, what the president is suggesting, if it is a compromise that the president endorses, do you think that you could deliver enough democrats to help pass it if john boehner can't come up with a majority of republicans? >> depends on how many he has. yes, the democrats will stick with the president, and maybe not every single one of them, but on the cpi, since you bring it up, the change chain cpi, the details of this are not all ironed out, but they all mitigate for helping the poorest and neediest in our society, whether they're ssi recipients, whether they're 80 and older or whether they're children in between, and i think some of our members are -- it their statements relate to unless it did something like that they would not want to support it.
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i think overall everybody talks about what happens if we go over the cliff. what happens if we don't? if we don't go over the cliff, what that means to our economy and the boost of morale it does, again, to the economy, to consumers, to the markets and the rest. it's really worth making a compromise to accomplish. i think we have to do it, and i think the democratic votes would be there to support the -- i know they would be there to support the president. we're very proud of his leadership. >> what are your red lines in terms of what you think could not be supported? things that are on the table in these negotiations -- >> the raising of the age. i made -- >> 65 -- >> 65 to 67. it affects people in such different ways depending on the line of work they're in, depending on their ethnic background, in terms of their access to nutrition and health care early on in life. it relates to many different things that are very subjective. we need to have an objective line of 65 for that, and that is as far as i know off the table. it is for the democrats and for
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the president. i hope it is for the republicans as well. >> you have been so proud of the women and the role that women play in the democratic caucus in contrast to as you pointed out, the house republican caucus. what about women in the cabinet? we have the exit of hillary clinton that we're expecting, and she's going to look like be replaced, assuming is he confirmed by john kerry. we expect that nomination. there's the possibility of chuck kagle at defense. we don't know who is going to go to treasury. what do you think about the whole diversity in the cabinet? should there be a real focus on having women in strong positions, especially these key cabinet positions of treasury, defense, the state department? >> well, i think the president has demonstrated that his cabinet has very, very effective and influential women in it, and it will continue too. i can only speak for my own
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situation. we're very proud that our caucus now for the first time women, minorities, and lgbt community people make up a majority of our caucus. half of our ranking members, that would mean those that are chaired, women that are majorities, are women or minorities. our diversity and the thinking that springs from that it energizes our caucus. >> speaking of women, hillary in 2016? >> wouldn't that be exciting? i hope she goes. why wouldn't she? she could be president of the united states she would be great. if she decided to run, and i think she would win, she would go into the white house as well prepared or better prepared than almost anybody who has served in that office in a very long time. i won't include washington, jefferson, adams, but maybe. >> right up there. >> but maybe. she would be great. women -- i think since you mentioned women, i think women
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will have a strong role to play in this gun safety issue. it hits home. i'm sure it hits home very strongly with men as well, but i think that the face of women in the congress on these issues as mothers, as grandmothers, is something that will make a tremendous difference and who is there, you know, what their experience is in their communities, in their families, i think, makes a difference in what the policy is, and it will be better policy with our new caucus in relationship to gun safety. >> democratic leader nancy pelosi. great pleasure. thank you for joining us today. >> thank you. >> thank you. and more on gun control and the fiscal cliff with former white house chief of staff john pedesto, and how you can give to the sandy hook school support fund go to andrea mitchell.msnbc.com. the voice pays tribute to those lives lost in connecticut.
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you'll get a bowl of queso that makes even this get-together better. sdmrumplt foreman who is chief of staff john podesta. good to see you. let's talk, first of all, about the gun situation, the white house has now signalled support for dianne feinstein's assault weapons ban. this was mayor mike bloomberg on "morning joe." >> congress doesn't give any money so that the federal -- and the federal government really is as much at fault as anybody. the president could fix this with his pen. federal government does not put data into the database of who in the military, for example, has psychiatric problems or drug abuse problems or is a domestic abuser or minors and that sort of thing, and so the database doesn't have the data. >> can the administration without -- by executive action, basically, without congressional action do something about
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screening potential gun purchasers? >> well, i definitely think there's some room for improvement, and mayor bloomberg pointed out one set of actions that the president could take. 23 states submit mental health records that are required people judged mentally incompetent. those records are not included in the database. i think there are a number of things that the president could do on his own, but i think it also takes congressional action as leader pelosi was suggesting to ban these clips for assault weapons, to get rid of assault weapons, get them off the streets and out of the schools of our cities, and to do a better job by requiring full background checks for anyone wanting to purchase a gun. it's going to take a lot of political effort and political will to do it, but i think the president if he puts his shoulder into it can be successful as president clinton was in the early 1990s. >> let's talk about the fiscal cliff negotiations. you've seen the back and forth
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today and speaker -- former speaker pelosi, the democratic leader, rejecting out of hands john boehner's plan b. where does it go from here? do they cut the difference and settle somewhere in the middle? do you see this coming together, or do you think they're going to deadlock? >> well, it's funny, andrea. i think everybody yesterday thought that the two sides were coming together, that it looked like finally over the weekend there was some progress being made, and then this morning the speaker announced plan b. i guess i would call it plan d. it's more dim-witted than anything. i don't know what they're trying to do. they're going to spend a couple of days on a plan they know cannot be successful. the president has rejected. the senate has already rejected it. we're just wasting time with a very short amount of time left to go. i guess he h to his own caucus, what they ought to do is get back to the negotiations that were promising to pull together a deal so that we both avoid the
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fiscal cliff and bring some needed certainty to our economy so that people can invest again. >> so do you think that this is just a last move to show his caucus that he tried and that he fought hard or it's just a negotiating tactic? >> i don't -- it's really hard to -- it's really -- particularly this late in the day with two weeks left before the end of the end of the year and the deadlines looming for the fiscal cliff, i don't know why they're spending a two-day string just to show that it's going to be unsuccessful. i think he should get back to the negotiating table. if he wanted to do something that might actually be successful, he could pass the senate pass bill which would extend tax relief for 98% of americans and then negotiate the rest from there, but this just seems like, you know, he is just trying to prove, as i said, trying to prove something to his
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caucus, maybe to the hard right republican base. in the end of the day it's just wasting time, i think, for at least for the next 48 hours. >> john, thank you very much. thanks for being with us today. next right here on "andrea mitchell reports" connecticut senator richard bloomenthal. have we reached a tipping point on gun control? >> i will live forever with the sights and sounds of those parents as they emerged from the firehouse. the cries and sobbing, the cries of grief and anguish, the look on those faces. is [ sniffs ] i have a cold.
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the people of connecticut and what you have all experienced as you've been through these last days. unimaginable. >> it has been three days i don't want to relive. >> i'm sure. >> thank you. >> we've seen some of your colleagues. i interviewed senator manchin yesterday, and this is, you know, as you know better than anyone, senator manchin had done a campaign commercial, which, you know, bragged about his gun background in the campaign commercial where he showed us his long gun and was out taking target practice, so no one has been more identified in the senate with the nra than he. do you think that he and others will now be willing to look at the assault weapon ban, for instance, that senator feinstein has proposed and that now the white house has endorsed today? >> and i'm supporting that proposal along with the restrictions on high class c magazines, other measures that
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we can take to prevent gun violence. i think senator manchin's step along with senator warner's, senator reid's statements on this subject mark a real shift, almost a techtonic change in the political landscape here, and it is an extraordinary moment where watching these senators who are revisiting their past positions is really an inspiring act of leadership, i think. >> can't the white house do more even on its own, and here we have a situation where it would not have helped in this case, granted, these guns were legally purchased by nancy lanza, alan lanza's mother, but the bottom line is that 40% of guns are sold without a background check in this country. >> that's right. because of loopholes. very good point. about 60% are involving background checks, but 40% do not. yes, i do think that the white
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house will act with determination. the president spoke very strongly and eloquently on this topic in the vigil on sunday in newtown when he visited with the families and the specifics, obviously, have not been forthcoming, but the country wants it. everywhere i go, newtown among the law enforcement community, my former colleagues, as attorney general of the state of connecticut, i hear again and again and again we have to do something, and i think that the president will respond with leadership. i certainly hope he will. i hope the country remains focused on this issue as well, because that's what it will take for people to remain focused on the tragedy and also the need to prevent such tragedies in the future. >> we should also say that as the former attorney general, your former colleagues, all the law enforcement officials, the first responders to say nothing of the heroism of the teachers, just the spirit and the courage,
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the guts of the people of that community and n that state are just extraordinary. >> well, i really appreciate that. you know, there was tremendous evil in newtown beginning friday, but there was also heroism on the part of the first responders. as you said, the swat team members who actually stormed in the building and prevented many deaths because the shooter took his own life when he knew that they were there. the principal, the teachers who literally threw themselves at that danger and perished as a result. the whole community which has come tonight. a quintessential new england community, quintessential american community and the bonds that bring everybody together. everybody knows everyone else virtually, and that is a good thing because it means they come together, but also everybody knew virtually everybody move the children involved too. there were some extraordinary moments of emotion and the kinds of sights and sounds i think
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will remain with me forever. >> it's really haunting, indeed. senator richard bloomenthal, thank you very much. >> thank you for being with us. >> and big city mayors are calling for action. thief been calling for action on gun control. philadelphia mayor michael mcnutter joining us next. david letterman reflecting on a serious note about the shootings at sandy hook. >> you drop your kid off, and you don't see them again? honestly that's really life now? that's what it's going to be? i like to look to some people who are smarter and i thought that president obama, he is talking about the situation, and he said a couple of things, you know. no single law, no sets of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society, but that can't be an excuse for inaction. right there i feel better. it can't be an excuse for inaction. that means he is committed. he is going on the record. jilld a great life.
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michael nutter, the president of the u.s. conference of mayors joining us from philadelphia. mr. mayor, thank you very much. >> thank you, andrea. >> you have been all over this issue, but now do you see an opening because of this horrendous tragedy to get people mobilized? >> andrea, i think the conversation has really shifted all across the country. i do believe that we've reached a tipping point here, and usually when you see that happen on any number of issues, different people are prepared possibly to take different action than maybe they were in the past. this is a horrific tragedy. it has really fwrached people in very, very different ways, and as saddened as we've always been about tucson or aurora, other places, and certainly death and carnage on our streets all across the cities of america,
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this particular incident, i think, is a culmination of a variety of these massacre type incidents that we've seen over the last few years, and they're increasingly happening. the issues of high capacity weapons, these magazines, assault weapons being used, body armor available out in the open marketplace. these are items that civilians basically should never really have. there's no reason for a civilian to have an assault type weapon. you know, other people will talk about, well, it was converted from something else. what it is is semiautomatic or in some cases possibly automatic weapons not used for sport, not used for legitimate hunting purposes, and they are tremendously dangerous. the children it's been reported many shot multiple times with a high volume high velocity weapon. the individual shooter in the connecticut case prior to him shooting himself would have been prepared to engage the connecticut state troopers or
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other law enforcement because he had body armor and numerous weapons. the glok, the 15 bullet capacity, the significant sauer 17 bullet capacity. what is the real purpose here? mayors all across the country, the u.s. conference of mayors, in partnership with a number of others, and i'm very proud of the mayors who signed a letter that we released this morning. we expect many, many other mayors across the country. we want the death and destruction to stop, and that there are actions that certainly the president who has been articulate on this issue over the past couple of days both if his expressions of sympathy, but also the need for in his words significant action. we're calling on the president to do what he can by way of executive order and then certainly the congress through the power of legislation to make america a safer place, deal with issues of violence, don't make cuts to programs and services and funding for mental health
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support that quite honestly, andrea, as you look through it, you'll see that's a part of what's going on even in the fiscal cliff debate. a reduction in funding for mental health services and programs. that makes no sense. certainly at this point in time. it never makes sense. now it really makes no sense. there are things that need to be done right now, and then there is the larger issue of just violence in america which plays out on the streets of our cities each and every day, and then there is the larger issue of just violence in america. which plays out on the streets of our cities each and every day that takes place in homes with domestic violence, takes place with the children, with abuse and sexual abuse and a variety of issues to be looked at and studied and then a series of recommendations over some period of time to come back to the president and the congress but as strong as we are in supporting the idea of a national commission on violence in america, that effort has --
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should not interfere with the immediacy of this moment. the you aurgency of now to take action and assault weapons off the streets of america. to prohibit acquiring these high magazine strips and clips. that shoot volumes of bullets a second. we can fix the national identification background system so that people who should not have weapons and close the gun show loophole. it can be done right now. >> mayor nutter of philadelphia, thank you. >> thank you. and this personal note. he was the last surviving hero of the greatest generation to serve in the united states senate. danielle inouye who represents hawaii in congress since becoming a state. he died yesterday. you might never know he was a
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true american hero. the 88-year-old was a medal of honor recipient who volunteered after pearl harbor even as his fellow japanese-americans were in internment camps. his unit most decorated in the war caught in a fire fight in italy and inouye shot in the stomach and wounded he continued to fight crawling up a hillside, grabbing a grenade of a wounded arm to kill the germans saving many lives. inouye lost that arm but while recovering from the wounds in the hospital he met two future senate greats. phillip hart and bob dole. they all ended up serving together. he became a key player in american political life for 50 years the vice president today swore in senator patrick leahy. third in line for the presidency.
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>> so help me god. >> congratulations. bittersweet moment. >> bittersweet indeed. he died with his wife and son at his side. his last word according to his office was, aloha. trusted everywhere. ♪ you make me happy [ female announcer ] choose the same brand your mom trusted for you. children's tylenol, the #1 brand of pain and fever relief recommended by pediatricians and used by moms decade after decade. stop! stop! stop! come back here! humans -- we are beautifully imperfect creatures living in an imperfect world. that's why liberty mutual insurance has your back with great ideas like our optional better car replacement. if your car is totaled, we give you the money to buy one a model year newer.
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north dakota senator budget chair kent conrad, congressman mccarthy, georgia congressman john lewis and los angeles mayor villaraigosa. tamron hall has a look at when's next. hi. >> hi. great to see you. in the next hour, the sound of silence. the nra on lockdown, not commenting on the democratic senators who have supported the nra in the past and now say it's time for reasonable gun control. why the silence and why critics say this is the usual m.o. for the nra. they call it the duck and cover. plus, not the kind of money they want to make. one wall street firm makes a huge announcement calling what happened at sandy hoom
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elementary a watershed moment and saying it will get out of the gun manufacturing business. why the white house rejects speaker bo eer boehner's fiscal plan "b" and why many believe a deal is very near.
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i'm tamron hall. the final good-byes for two more young victims as students around newtown return to school for the first time since friday's massacre. the june ral of 6-year-old jessica ricos began two hours ago. she loved horses, watching them on tv, reading and writing about them. jessica's parents refer to her as the little ceo because she said she liked to plan everything. family and friends of 6-year-old james matioli are saying final good-bye. james' family says he was energetic and woke up every morning ready to go to school.
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the parents call them their beloved prince and describe the 6-year-old as a numbers guy who was wise beyond his years. and wakes are held today for 6-year-old danielle barton, budding athlete. he loved to swim and play soccer. charlotte bacon, 6 years old, remembered as a go getter. and for her strong personality. also, victoria soto, 27-year-old teacher who officials say died while protecting her students. and we're also getting new information this afternoon on the guns adam lanza used in the attack and when at least one of them was purchased. let's get the latest of nbc news justice correspondent pete williams. what can you tell us about the purchasing records uncovered? >> frankly, tamron, i didn't bring them with me. i didn't have the exact dates at the fingertips. we all have been reporting here that all these firearms were bought within the last two years. and i just